Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Republican Church of God?

Growing up in the church I constantly heard how the church was supposedly non-political and that it was wrong to take political positions, mainly because Herbert Armstrong said God frowned upon it.  However, anyone growing up in the church quickly found out which side of the fence the church was on in regards to many social justice issues, race issues and local governance issues. Every year as election season started we were lectured that voting was wrong.

As usual, with much of the things taught in the church, voting and politics depended upon where you lived and who you were.  If you were in Big Sandy or in Pasadena, members were encouraged to vote in if local policies and issues were to work in the church or college's favor.  One Big Sandy Mayor was a COG member, elected with a mass turn out of church member so that local alcohol rules could be changed.

That leads us today to Bill Watson and the Church of God International .  Listening to Watson preach, reading his web entries, and his church magazines you would think he was the spokesman for the Republican Party.  Plus, he uses the WorldNetDaily as his go-to news source (as does LCG, UCG).

International News

...The United States is positioning for a correction in its course of interaction with the world’s community of nations. It would appear by the actions of this President, that he fully intends to rebuild and rein- force the overall strength and posture of the United States on the world stage. His most recent passing of the Omnibus Budget Bill clearly indicates military spending is a top priority. The fact this $1.3 trillion bill has $720 billion earmarked for military expenditures plainly indicates he is refurbishing and expanding the military might of America, for whatever military action may be required. Actually, it appears he fully expects preparedness for war is justified, and that’s why more than half of this Omnibus Bill is devoted to military spending...
...The United States is relearning to express assertive leadership after decades of appeasement, apologies, and accommodation at the expense of its own national well being and security. The question is, Will the world’s community of nations, having been working an agenda of globalism, accept and adjust to this revived nationalistic approach the United States, United Kingdom, and a handful of others within the European Union are now adopting? That remains to be seen as to how it will all play out....
As long as the politics being preached was one geared up for war, anti-Muslim, anti-immigration, anti-gay and anti-Catholic, certain COG leaders are in heaven.  They want to see a war happen, Europe rise up and attack the United States, horrific terrorism and all kinds of violence.  Because when it does, they think it is validating their Biblical interpretations.

When a person listens to the sermons of these guys, reads their articles and blog entries it would be hard to mistake them as anything other than conservative or Republican.

How is this really preaching a gospel message?

hat tip JF



Anonymous said...

LCG hasn't used WorldNetDaily as a news source for many years. Even though they have, the source is still reliable.

Dumbhead said...

As far as wars coming and the rest, I have wondered about if members really care about people as far as what they believe is going to happen in the future. Is it their salvation they care about or are looking for when the end time comes? Are they disinterested in the horrible suffering that they say will happen in the world. How much of it is ME and who cares about the rest of humanity?

David Rickman said...

The 7 years of my life I wasted attending WCG (1987-1994) I was a registered voter and never knew that they frowned on such things. F.Y.I. I voted for the Democratic party and still do.

Connie Schmidt said...

The COGs have not allowed its people to vote, to serve in the military (even as non combatants), or to be police officers , hold public office etc.

Yet , when reading many of their publications, like the one listed, you would figure that the COGs would be encouraging voting, military service and public service. BUT THEY DONT!

This is where the hypocrisy comes in. They want a strong military America, strong law enforcement, strong public leaders, yet are on the sidelines as far as participation in any of these areas, and "armchair quarterback" from the "peanut gallery".

Once was the day that they called those who advocated these positions and yet would never perform them as CHICKENHAWKS.

Here is a definition from Wikipedia...

"Chickenhawk (chicken hawk or chicken-hawk) is a political term used in the United States to describe a person who strongly supports war or other military action (i.e., a war hawk), yet who actively avoids or avoided military service when of age.

The term indicates that the person in question is hypocritical for personally dodging a draft or otherwise shirking their duty to their country during a time of armed conflict while advocating that others do so. Generally, the implication is that chickenhawks lack the moral character to participate in war themselves, preferring to ask others to support, fight and perhaps die in an armed conflict."

Yes , even the Bible says there is a time for war and a time for everything, but enough from CHICKENHAWK Cog Leaders who are not willing to lead from the front or ever eat from the same trough as those who put it on the line. Start voting, start serving in office, join the military, be a police officer, OR , silence yourself on many of these topics. You cant have it both ways!

Allen Dexter said...

My daughter, Nancy, commented on Facebook that she had little desire to continue living in the world she sees developing. I made the following comment:

"I'm kinda glad my lifetime is so near its end. I don't like what I see developing. We defeated Nazism and then embraced and furthered it. Hitler's dreams are coming true through Trump and the religious right. Never forget that Nazism was a religiously based philosophy and no non-christian was welcome in that party and Catholicism basically held sway. Nothing has changed in that philosophy since imperial Rome. Oh, there are variations, but the basic fascism has never disappeared in the Christian world. My mother used to comment that there was just a very thin door between the Lutherans and Catholics. Same with Anglicans, and in varying degrees, with all churches. If you're conversant with history, you know that is true, but history bores far too many people. So, if you don't learn from it, you're doomed to repeat it. The fact that it's happening is all too apparent."

Anonymous said...

"2 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.[a] 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."

This has never been the central focus of the COG's, ever. And it certainly isn't the focus of THIS ministry.

It was the focus of Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, and this is where their priorities are supposed to be. Not politics.

James said...

This guy sent me the same. I didn't publish it. Its meaningless.

All of us will have variations of 'truth' and that is what humans do. Disagree with each other. That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is how the acog's use politics to unify the sheeple behind their theology which really isn't a theology but a outright deception.

People believe what they are taught. As for me I challenge everything I read, and most of it is bullshit. Everything is political and I am sickened by the fact we give these asshole politicians the time of day and increase their power over us. Not only government, but religious hucksters.

My advice is to ignore the ranting of fools like one would find in the acog's or in political office, and concentrate on your life and your happiness. Trust none of them, and never, ever, allow politics or religion to come between your friends or your family.

As to the acog's and their precious prophecies, when they see the EU fail, and it will, what will they say or do? Will they say it will happen in another 100 years? Reassign a 'spiritual' meaning to the EU failure?

The Painful Truth and BANNED could both go away tomorrow and the result would still be the same. The demise of the acog's. The only glue they have holding them together as they fight, scratch and claw at each other is Herbie and his 209 + false prophecies. That is what keeps them from giving up, enabling them to further milk people of their life blood.

So Al, give your daughter this advice: "Quit listening to the bullshit and develop an attitude which is capable of saying 'fuck'em all.' Don't give a shit about that which you do not have power over. In the political arena you will never be listened to by your 'representative' because you don't give them the money in a quantity that will get them re-elected. They don't give a shit about you or your concerns."

The only reason I may vote in the future is to stop a tax increase on my ass. I have no faith or trust in any of these sons of bitches! They'll fuck you out of your last dollar.

Anonymous said...

The ACOGs endorse a strong assertive military so that it is safe for them to play church. By contrast, they teach members to be passive and hence easily controlled by the ministers.

I don't believe a Christian should vote, anymore than a American should vote in a Italian election. Our citizenship is in heaven rather than some country.

As a baptised Christian, it's foolish to put oneself in a high risk occupation such as the military or police work. A premature death means less personal growth, which means a smaller eternal reward. A very high price to pay indeed.

Miller Jones said...

I encourage everyone to read the entire article for yourself and also peruse past articles by Bill Watson. It is very evident that Watson is a staunch supporter of the abomination who currently occupies the Oval Office. Moreover, by continuing to give such a prominent place to this individual (Watson) in their publications and programs, we must conclude that the CGI (Church of God International) endorses these views. It is interesting to note just how much Watson's views have in common with Mark Armstrong's posts for the Intercontinental Church of God and Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association (Mark's father founded CGI). Unfortunately, many in the CGI do vote (I agree with Connie's remarks, but I wish that all of these Republican COGs were chicken-hawks). And, just for the record, God is NOT a Republican!

Anonymous said...

"Skip the religion and politics, head straight to the compassion. Everything else is a distraction."
Talib Kweli

Anonymous said...

i always like to quote my favorite Scripture on the matter:

"But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand." Isaiah 32:8

i looked up strongs definition of the word churl (the opposite of the word liberal in that context of the Scripture) found in the overall chapter of Isaiah 32 and the base of the word churl stems from a word that basically means stingy...

given the Reputation of Christ as being generous, and the Commands in the old testament of the One what became Christ (e.g. Leviticus 23:22) i can confidently say that Christ doesnt agree with the republican philosophy in general...

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

who are you? ari melber?

Anonymous said...

"...Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Revelation 12:12

my hope is in the Legacy of the Word of God, hence i know what is happening, and why; so i personally am not in despair...

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

Connie Schmidt said: "Start voting, start serving in office, join the military, be a police officer, OR , silence yourself on many of these topics. You cant have it both ways!"

Allen Dexter said: "My mother used to comment that there was just a very thin door between the Lutherans and Catholics. Same with Anglicans, and in varying degrees, with all churches."

Anonymous 5:31 PM said: "I don't believe a Christian should vote, anymore than a American should vote in a Italian election. Our citizenship is in heaven rather than some country. As a baptised Christian, it's foolish to put oneself in a high risk occupation such as the military or police work. A premature death means less personal growth, which means a smaller eternal reward. A very high price to pay indeed."

To throw in my buck’s worth…After several years experience with a variety of ACOGs I started to realize that a lot of the views spouted in their magazines and even shared among the crowd after sermons promoted Republican policy on a host of issues. I recall in one group overhearing a conversation between an elderly white man and a young black lady about Obama and how the gentleman agreed with everything written in an article published in the PCG magazine about how truly evil Obama was and all the evil things he was doing to America. The young lady looked around for escape, but unfortunately none was coming. I could tell by the look in her eyes that she felt this was not her ideal way to spend a Sabbath afternoon being lectured to about personality politics and conspiracy theories. I felt disappointed in myself that I didn’t know what to say to save her from the situation. In any event, it was a learning experience that helped open my eyes to the underlying political leanings of those within ACOG groups despite the official declaration that as Christians we should not partake in politics at all, including joining a political party or holding office, engaging in military service or law enforcement, or even vote at elections. It was and still is hypocritical to say the least.

So even though I personally don’t partake in voting, etc. as a repentant and baptized Christian, I understand that other Christians may have different views on this issue and so I don’t hold them to the same standard that I choose to believe and hold to for myself. Having said that I must respectfully disagree with Connie’s statement and implied assertion that just because you don’t partake in politics or serve in the military etc. that your opinion on various related issues to government and society should be suppressed or censored. Concerning Allan’s remark I couldn’t agree more and it’s my view this is due to the union of sect and state that usually leads to conflict (e.g. Catholic partnership with Italian, German and Spanish Fascism during WWII; Anglican partnership with English monarchy; Islamic partnership with Egyptian and Iranian governments; etc.). And regarding Anonymous’s view that “A premature death means less personal growth, which means a smaller eternal reward” I must respectfully disagree! For me it’s quality not quantity that matters. And tbh I doubt God equates physical longevity with spiritual growth (Mark 10:31).

Anonymous said...

The two paragraphs that you quote do not appear to be a political endorsement but a statement of facts.

Whether you agree with the Trump administration or not, it is focusing on military spending, assertive leadership, and a nationalistic agenda. These are facts, not opinion.

Bill Watson appears to be offering analysis based on his Biblical world view of these facts. There is nothing in the article endorsing the Republican Party or President Trump.

And I look at this from the perspective of neutrality.

To compare Bill Watson to the hate speech of the right wing rantings of Mark Armstrong is not fair.

Steve D said...

Didn't Jesus tell his disciples that if they didn't have a sword (dagger) to go out and buy one (for self-defense)? Wasn't Cornelius, a soldier, called a godly man? When John the Baptist was asked by a soldier what he should do, John didn't tell him to get out of the military. Doesn't Ex 22:2 tell us that we have the right to defend ourselves?

Anonymous said...

Regarding Christians, who, like myself, believe in the God-given right and freedom to defend oneself, one's property and one's country through the use of guns and yet at the same time might refuse owning or using guns I cannot and never will forget the exceptional service and example of Desmond Doss a true Christian and true American patriot!

Anonymous said...

Most of the COG's have a lot of members who are very political. They may not vote, but they are hung up on policies from at least both sides. One of my family members was never really that vocal about politics until they went to UCG. They have been gone from there for several years, and have even changed from Republican ideals to mostly Socialist values.

I believe being in UCG pushed him over the edge. A lot of the old men who attend there argue about politics and other b.s. all the time. Everyone seems to be looking for someone to agree with them, but who is looking for truth?

Miller Jones said...

Anonymous 6/20 @ 3:45 AM,
Your neutrality is suspect. The article referenced in this post is clearly meant to advance the notion of the corrupt deep state (seeking to undermine and destroy Trump). The entire article reflects Mr. Watson's OPINION that America has been asleep at the wheel for the last thirty or forty years, and that Trump (and the Republican party refashioned into his image) are working to correct all of those mistakes. Mr. Watson decries the mainstream media's complicity in all of this. He believes that America prior to Trump was engaged in "appeasement, apologies and accommodation at the expense of its own national well being and security" (that's an opinion, not a fact). He sees a Globalist conspiracy bent on seeking "One World Order." Moreover, to rebuild the U.S. military, one has to believe that it has been allowed to atrophy and deteriorate under the previous administration. Notice too the message of the not so subtle pictures included in this article (Hilary R. Clinton-Clinton Foundation, William J. Clinton-Clinton Global Initiative, Former FBI Director, James Comey, Anderson Cooper-CNN Anchorman, Wolf Blitzer-CNN Reporter, Andrew McCabe-Deputy Director of the FBI, Robert S. Mueller-Former FBI Director, Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation).
I would also refer you to "Is Anybody Listening?" in the Winter 2017 issue of the same paper, and "Populism: Is It the Calm Before the Storm?" in the Summer 2017 issue. Read those articles and tell me Mr. Watson isn't a Trump supporter! His repeated references to George Soros and Black Lives Matter are clearly indicative of just where Mr. Watson stands on these issues. Notice too in the last article mentioned that there is a picture titled "Barack Hussein Obama at the United Nations" which is followed by a picture of "Donald J. Trump, President of the United States." Mr. Watson's OPINIONS are hard to miss.
And, finally, he may not be as crass and crude as Mark Armstrong, but it is clear that they share many of the same views. Like Mr. Watson, Armstrong is very conservative, supports Trump and professes to view world developments through the lens of Biblical prophecy.
No, Mr. Watson is clearly advancing a viewpoint in these articles! He is clearly doing more than just presenting the facts.

Byker Bob said...

I’ve opined before that it appears indeed ironic that one of Armstrong’s “sainted” Republicans appears to actually be fomenting their version of the endtimes. At a time when Antarctica is melting at 3 times the rate it was just as recently as in 2007, Trump hasn’t just seceded from the Paris Accords, he’s busy dismantling most of the EPA standards that have cleaned up the US environment. He is initiating the exact type of trade war that prolonged the Great Depression, and is reversing the nationalist sacrifices and global cooperation which have up until now prevented World War III. He is also playing to a renewal of intitutionalized racism.

These articles are going to prove to be a worse embarrassment to Armstrongism than the Great Disappointment of 1975! What the hell are these ACOgs thinking?


Miller Jones said...

Byker Bob,
Don't forget he is doing everything he can to resurrect coal! Wall Street is beginning to get nervous about trade policy - wonder how long it will take them to lay an egg!
By the way, MAGA really means Make America White Again. It is interesting to note that Trump's presidential hero is Andrew Jackson (the author of Native American removal). In this connection, it's interesting to note that the overwhelming ethnicity of the folks coming to this country from Central America is Native American. Wonder what would have happened if Native Americans had built a wall? Unfortunately, there is a fairly large group of White Americans who are against anything that they fear might further erode their wealth, power and privileged position in the world.
Once again, the ACOG's are going to find themselves on the wrong side of history. You are absolutely right about the embarrassment in store for these folks - someday soon this error is going to be apparent to everyone (except hardcore racists).

Anonymous said...

I still remember the Sabbath in October 2000 when a UCG Pastor (now a Senior Pastor) said during the announcements, "Let's all pray George W. Bush wins the election."

The minister's political bent had been obvious for years from his comments at Bible Study and during announcements, but that moment left no doubt.

Anonymous said...

Correction on earlier comment: This UCG Pastor is now a Regional Pastor.